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Elevator Life Cycle

Dru Brooks

How Long Does An Elevators Last?

It’s a popular question: “How long does an elevator last?” The answer to this age old question relies on many factors. Based on the lift type; Hydraulic elevator, Traction elevator, Freight elevator, Passenger Elevator, Commercial Elevator or Residential Elevator as well as the usage, maintenance frequency and the elevator's physical environment are all major factors in determining the life expectancy of your elevator equipment. 

Although there are countless variables as to the life expectancy of your elevator, having routine maintenance performed by a trusted elevator service provider is essential to extending your elevator’s cycle of efficiency.  Below is a table representing the ‘average’ life expectancy of a well maintained elevator.


As a general rule, the industry standard life cycle of an elevator is approximately 20 years of service before you need to consider modernization. This average is based on parts obsolescence, updated energy standards and the general wear of components. After 20 years in operation your elevator may no longer be cost effective to maintain. As your elevator ages, you may see an increase in service calls, higher energy consumption, a decrease in responsiveness and noisy performance. Before your elevator maintenance bills start to pile up, you will want to proactively meet with your elevator service provider to plan ahead for the capital investment necessary to modernizing your elevator.

Variables to Elevator Life cycle

Some variables to the life expectancy of your elevator may be environmental. One of the most common culprits is exposure to moisture. Water can find its way into your building in many ways, from subterranean water sources seeping up through your foundation, water leaks that penetrate into the elevator shaft, malfunctioning sump pumps or entrances that expose the elevator cab to external weather. Water is the ultimate saboteur of any metal structure or mechanical device and if not regularly inspected, your elevator can quickly deteriorate from the pit below.  Hydraulic elevators are also susceptible to underground electrical currents, seismic activities and extreme temperatures. These unforeseen environmental factors can dramatically cut short the life cycle of your elevator and it’s not uncommon to see elevators requiring modernization after only 10 - 15 years in service.

Routine Elevator Maintenance

Regular scheduled service & inspections can extend your elevator efficiency beyond the 20 year expected life cycle, while the lack of quality care can have the adverse effect, reducing your elevator’s life by 10 -15 years. When partnering with a trusted elevator service provider you can proactively manage your building’s elevators and recognize the early aging signs before your elevator prematurely reaches the end of its life cycle.    

Capital Planning

When you work closely with your elevator service provider, they will help you manage the life cycle of your elevator, from installation through routine maintenance, componentry upgrades and ultimately through the modernization process once your elevator loses its efficiency. Having a transparent discussion with your elevator service provider about what upgrades to expect throughout the lifetime of your elevator can ease the anxiety when items wear and need to be replaced.

Elevator Modernization

Consider a modernization company that installs non-proprietary components allowing for universal service options and multiple sources for hardware and componentry replacement.  Don’t get caught by surprise with an obsolete elevator, be proactive and engaged with your elevator service company throughout the elevator life cycle.  Learn more about Elevator Modernization.

Liberty Elevator is a Modernization Expert

After 60 years of successful growth in the New York Metro area, Liberty Elevator Corporation has expanded it's elevator service reach to include South Florida. Now providing Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Naples and the surrounding area with certified union elevator mechanics to perform maintenance, modernizations & new elevator construction in the commercial real estate market. 

Whether choosing a customized elevator maintenance program, installing nonproprietary equipment, or providing a flexible agreement, Liberty Elevator provides knowledgeable recommendations for various models and vintages of elevator equipment.

To get your elevator on a routine maintenance schedule that maximizes its life expectancy, contact Liberty Elevator today! 

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Elevator Life Expectancy Reference Link

How long should an elevator last Link